A “historic event”… Ukraine shoots down Putin’s “unkillable” missile

Ukraine’s air force said on Saturday that Ukrainian air defenses had shot down a Russian hypersonic missile for the first time during an attack on the capital Kiev last week, in a “potential major setback for the Kremlin’s long-range air strike campaign”.

The Kinzhal missile, which means “dagger” in Russian, is one of six “next generation” weapons revealed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 when he boasted that it could not be shot down by any of the air defense systems in the world.

On Thursday night, the KH-47 Kinzhal missile was reportedly shot down outside Kiev according to the head of the Ukrainian Air Force, Mykola Oleshuk. The US Patriot air defense system was stated as being responsible for the interception, as declared by the Air Force.

“I congratulate the Ukrainian people on this historic event. Yes, we shot down the unparalleled Kinzhal missile,” Oleshuk added via Telegram.

The US Patriot system is one of a suite of advanced air defense units provided by the West to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s months-long campaign of air strikes targeting critical infrastructure, energy facilities and other sites.

Hundreds of civilians were killed in the attacks, which Russia intensified in the October before winter. The strikes did not succeed in paralyzing the electricity network, but caused major blackouts. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Ukraine has made a statement about the Kinzhal missile, but Russia has not responded yet. Previously, Russia has bragged that no missile in the West compares to the Kinzhal.

This ballistic missile, which is launched from the air and can reach a speed of 12,350 kilometers per hour, is capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads, and reports indicate that its range ranges between 1,500 and 2,000 kilometers.

Ukraine said the missile was launched during a drone attack on Kiev and other cities in the early hours of Thursday.

On Thursday, an air strike occurred shortly after Russia accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin with a drone at the Moscow Kremlin building, and warned of possible retaliation.

Last month, officials confirmed that Ukraine had received Patriot missiles from the United States.


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